This past Saturday one of the rarest feats in American baseball took place. Philip Humber, 29 year-old pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, threw a perfect game. For 27 consecutive batters, Humber didn't let a single player on base nor give up a hit, securing a 4 - 0 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Saturday also saw the maximum break of 147 points in a snooker frame accomplished by Stephen Hendry in the World Snooker Championships - his 11th career maximum and his third in the World Championships since he started playing. And who remembers Nadia Comăneci in Montreal in 1976? Or Torvill and Dean in 1984? And indeed for soccer fans the 'New Invincibles' or the 'Unbeatables' of Arsenal. Such feats live long in the memory and rightly so.
Despite an otherwise prosaic career, humble Humber's Saturday performance, only the 21st such achievement in Major League history, captured the nation's attention. Whether Humber will prove to be the "real thing" is arguable, yet the rarity of his accomplishment is undeniable. To appreciate what the White Sox phenom achieved, below are a number of standing records of perfection in professional (one amateur) sport.